Friday, November 2, 2012

Foodie Friends Friday Linky Party and Giveaway!

Welcome to another fabulous Friday linky party!  We have some awesome prizes for 2 lucky winners this week from Home Matters 1st and Adorned Well.  One winner will receive the lovely scarf and the other winner will receive the pair of dishtowels!  What a great way to celebrate the fall!

Thursday, November 1, 2012

Spiced Pumpkin Soup

Is there a better comfort food during fall than soup?  And what says "fall" more than pumpkin?  Here is the ultimate fall comfort food - Spiced Pumpkin Soup!  I am still relatively new to making my own soups, and I am constantly surprised how easy it is!  This was a winner with the adults and kids in my family.  You could use canned pumpkin, but I decided to roast my own to make pumpkin puree.  I loved being able to eliminate another need for a canned food.  Want to warm up on a cold fall evening?  Give this delicious soup a try!


2 Tbsp olive oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 Granny Smith apple, peeled, cored, chopped
2 medium carrots, chopped
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1 qt. Imagine No Chicken Broth (or vegetable/chicken)
3/4 C light coconut milk
15 oz pureed pumpkin
dash of cayenne peper 
sour cream to garnish
croutons, if desired

  1. In a large pot, heat the olive oil over medium heat.  Add onion, carrot, apple and 1/4 tsp salt.  Cook until vegetables are just tender, about 10 minutes, stirring often.  Add other spices, stir and cook an additional minute.
  2. Whisk in broth, coconut milk, and pumpkin into pot.  Bring to a low boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 20 minutes until reduced slightly.  Add cayenne.
  3. Either use an immersion blender in the pot, or allow to cool and use a blender to puree the soup.  If cooled, return to pot to and heat on medium-low until hot.  Serve with croutons and a dollop of sour cream.

Adapted from Good Housekeeping 11/12

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Food Fun: A Day Of Pumpkin!

I just made my very first pumpkin puree!  I have shied away from pumpkin recipes because I don't like using canned foods if I can avoid them.  Now that I know how to roast a pumpkin and make fresh organic pumpkin puree, the opportunities are endless!  I decided to take a day and have a little bit of pumpkin at every meal.  It is jam-packed with vitamin A, beta carotene, B complex, calcium, potassium, and dietary fiber.  It certainly makes for a good addition to your balanced diet.  :)

To begin our pumpkin day, I served about a cup of organic slow-cooked oatmeal with a 1/4 C of my pumpkin puree, a drizzle of raw organic honey, and a sprinkling of organic cinnamon.  My daughter LOVED it!

For snack, after eating a banana, I served her some of my first roasted pumpkin seeds.  We tossed them in a bit of melted butter and seasoned them lightly with salt and garlic powder.  It was so easy and fun to show her how to use all parts of the pumpkin!

Along with her lunch, I included some pumpkin yogurt parfait.  I took her organic vanilla yogurt, added some of my pumpkin puree, and served it in layers with my homemade granola.  It was like having dessert with lunch!  She couldn't get enough of it!  :)

Finally, to round out our day of pumpkin, we enjoyed some delicious Spiced Pumpkin Soup.  It was my first time making a pumpkin soup and I was very happy with the results.  We paired it with a fresh kale salad to make a healthy meal.  There you have it.  Our fun day of pumpkin recipes was a success!  My daughter can't wait to do it again!

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Autumn Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing

If you are looking for a fresh and delicious salad that is perfect for fall, look no further.  This is it!  I love how the apples and pears, dried cranberries, and cashews give this salad loads of texture.  The dressing is light and clean and so easy to make.  It is a fresh taste of the season and pairs great with fall staples like soups and casseroles.

This salad is great to take to big gatherings because it is so easy to transport.  Just toss the apples and pears with the dressing and keep in a separate container.  The rest of the salad can be assembled in the serving bowl.  When ready to eat, simply toss the dressing covered fruit with the rest of the ingredients and serve.  That's it!  

Ingredients (serves 6 as a side)

1 head romaine, chopped
1 head red leaf lettuce, chopped
1/3 C red onion, chopped
1/2 C cashews
1/3 C dried cranberries
1 apple, chopped (I used Gala)
1 pear, chopped

1/4 C sugar
1/4 C lemon juice
3/4 tsp dijon mustard
1/4 tsp salt
3 Tbsp canola oil
1 tsp poppy seeds


  1. Combine dressing ingredients in a small bowl and whisk to combine.  Combine the apples and pears and toss in the dressing.
  2. Combine the rest of the salad ingredients in a large bowl.  Add the dressing coated apples and toss to evenly coat the salad.  

Monday, October 29, 2012

Weekly Menu

Happy Halloween Week!  Our week is full of fun with Halloween related activities at school, my husband's office, and of course trick-or-treating.  I feel very prepared with my plans for all the candy that we will be dealing with.  If you need some ideas, check out last week's post.  We had a great trip to the farm and picked up some yellow watermelon, kale, red beets, baby sweet onion, carrots, broccoli, red leaf and romaine lettuce, and some pie pumpkins.  With this assortment, we will be making the following:

  • We are having dinner with extended family and I am bringing Autumn Salad with Lemon Poppy Seed Dressing
    • using the red leaf and romaine lettuce

  • Spiced Pumpkin Soup and Kale Salad with Cheddar and Glazed Onions
    • using the pie pumpkins, kale, and baby sweet onions

We will be enjoying the watermelon for dessert.